While rap may not be the music style of choice in most Southern Baptist churches, some seminary instructors are pointing students to a rap video in their Baptist history classes.
Ashley Unzicker stars in a YouTube video featuring a rap song that combines the theme music from the popular ’90s television show “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” with the outline to a Baptist history course she took at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
“I’ve been writing raps forever,” said Unzicker, a wife and mother of two children — with one on the way. Her husband Todd is a campus pastor for The Summit Church in the Raleigh/Durham area.
“I used to say I wanted to be the next Weird Al [Yankovic]; he was like who I wanted to be when I grew up,” joked Unzicker, who is taking a break from classes during her pregnancy and being a stay-at-home mom for now. When time allows, she hopes to earn a master of arts in Christian studies.
The video, released early last year, can be seen here or by searching for “Baptist History Rap” at youtube.com.
“Ashley’s rap is by far the most creative use of my course lectures I have ever seen,” said Unzicker’s professor, Nathan Finn, in a May 15 email interview with Baptist Press. “She summarized nearly all of the historical material I discussed. A little bit of her lyrics were taken directly from the lectures, though the vast majority of it was her summarizing the material.”
Unzicker’s historical journey kicks off with a reference to King Henry VIII and ends with Fred Luter being elected the first African American president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“I think it’s really interesting just how this all happened — how we [became] Baptists, why are we Baptists and why do we believe what we believe,” she said, “and all the different things that each person contributed throughout history.”
Unzicker acknowledges she wasn’t that interested in Baptist history when she first enrolled in Finn’s class in the fall of 2012. But he soon won her over.
“Wow, that’s why I believe what I believe,” said Unzicker, who recalled the moment Baptist history became more than a collection of dates and words in a textbook.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press